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Man in shower with hair care products, source: Flickr.

Conditioner: many awesome uses beyond hair care! Photo: greggoconnell, Flickr

Hair conditioner: it's essential for soft, tangle-free tresses. But did you know hair conditioner has a bunch of other uses? It's true! Check out my super list of unusual uses for conditioner:

1. Shaving lotion. Why buy a separate product for shaving when an inexpensive conditioner goes a lot further? It works just as well as shaving foam. Really.

2. Makeup remover. Conditioner dissolves makeup beautifully and softens the skin without being greasy.

3. Cuticle softener. Rub conditioner into your dry cuticles. Ahh. Instant relief for dry nails.

4. Moisturizer. Speaking of softening the skin, conditioner makes a good all-purpose moisturizer if you're in a pinch.

5. Take the "ouch!" out of bandage removal. If you or the kids refuse to endure the pain of having band-aids ripped off, rub conditioner around the area and the bandage can be eased back gently.

6. Ring removal. Conditioner will get that stuck ring off your finger, pronto.

7. Fake tattoo removal. If your preschooler's so over his Diego temporary tattoo, use conditioner to remove it without a trace ... and without painful scrubbing.

8. Lubricate squeaky doors and windows. Out of WD-40? Try a dab of conditioner on noisy hinges and stiff, sticking windows.

9. Grease stuck zippers. Work a teensie bit of conditioner into a stuck zipper to get things back on track.

10. Soften leather. Conditioner can be used to soften and add sheen to any leather products, including office chairs, leather coats and car seats. Try conditioner on shoes in snowy, icy weather: it adds a layer of water-resistant protection between the leather and damaging water and salt.

11. Leaf shine for houseplants. Much less expensive than specially-formulated leaf shine products, conditioner cleans dust and grime from rubber plants and other large-leafed houseplants. It also adds a lasting, brilliant sheen.

12. Shrunken sweater first aid. Yikes! Your sweater shrunk in the wash. Don't panic ... and give conditioner a try. Dissolve a tablespoon or so of conditioner in a basin of water and soak the sweater in it. The conditioner might soften the fabric enough that it can be gently stretched to its original size.

13. Wash delicates. Use conditioner to hand wash lingerie and other delicate fabrics, letting you skip the pricey specialty detergents.

14. Chrome and stainless steel polish. Conditioner adds a very nice shine to household metal surfaces, especially faucets. Just polish 'till the conditioner residue disappears.

15. Rust prevention. Protect garden and home improvement tools from rust: rub blades and other metal surfaces with a layer of conditioner.

16. Soften paintbrushes and makeup brushes. Rinse clean, then work a little conditioner into the bristles. Leave for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. This will keep the bristles smooth and sleek, and ideal for precision work.


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